Thursday, June 24, 2010

Terminology - Theocracy

Well hopefully you know what day of the week it is and that you have come here on purpose, if not well it’s Thursday and welcome I am glad you found us here at The Old Dead Guys.  Since it is Thursday and as is our custom we want to look at a new word.  (I am fearful that eventually we will run out of biblical words and resort to defining cats or even boats but I guess both are in Scripture so that will be ok…I think.)

So let’s get at it.

Webster states of Theocracy – Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed.  Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul.

This type of governance is vastly different from the cultish paganism of the current wave of patriotism in America today.  Although it has faded somewhat I am sure you will remember all the “God Bless America” signs as if we were a nation different than the rest; or that somehow by mentioning God on our money, Pledge of Allegiance, and Declaration of Independence we were somehow due special consideration in spite of our disobedience (in general) as a nation.  I assure you though it is not the case.

Many believe that if we can just get “Christians” in power everything will be ok but that ignores our form of government and the fact that it is still a human institution the best on the planet but still earthly.  No the Theocracy of Scripture is vastly different.  As Webster states a Theocracy is “a state by the immediate direction of God and thus governed.”  Further as he points out it began with Abram “get out…I will show you” (Gen 12:1) and ended with Saul “we want to be like the other nations” i.e. governed by men (1 Sam 8:5).  This was the very reason God disapproved so strongly in that they were not selecting a form of government as much as they were rejecting God (1 Sam 8:7).

Probably the early Church is the closest we have seen since 1 Samuel where some have mistakenly taken Acts 4:32 as communism but this is not the case since they gave to the common good willingly.  Ultimately though, the theocracy of God will not occur until all of Christ’s enemies are as His foot stool.  This would not be the kingdom of the millennium since sin will still be present (Rev 20:7-8) until Satan is once and for all dealt with (v10).

So that a Theocracy is literally "the rule of God," however this is thought to be expressed, that is by His revealed principles in the hearts of His elect, by His chosen leaders, or by Himself in the person of the Son.  However, the word is variously used by writers for different intended conceptions, some using it as a code word for uniqueness of Old Testament Israel, others using it for any social system where the church rules the state (or is not separated from it), and still others for a civil government which strives to submit to the socio-political standing laws revealed by God (in Old or New Testaments).  However, there is only one true Theocracy that being the actual rule of God.

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